It’s well documented that gemstones from Burma are fueling violent conflict in Kachin state and funding a variety of questionable entities. In addition to these reports from Kachin, hundreds of residents in Mogok, the main ruby producing area in Burma, are protesting plans by the Mogok Gems Traders Association to build a new headquarters and possibly a gemstone market, museum and restaurants, on a scenic lake in the town’s center.
“This lake is a famous landmark of our city and the public area is also a recreation area for residents. If buildings will be built around the lake, the beauty of city will be ruined and the environment will be destroyed.”
Monks, environmental groups, religious organizations and environmental groups have all joined the protest, which was launched on February 21.